(HealthDay News) — More than half of patients offered participation in cancer clinical trials are willing to participate, according to a study published online in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute to coincide with the ASCO Quality Care Symposium, held virtually from Oct 9 to 10.

Joseph M. Unger, PhD, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to examine clinical trial participation among cancer patients. A total of 35 studies were identified including 30 treatment trials and 5 cancer control trials; 9759 patients were offered trial participation.

The researchers found that 55% of patients agreed to enroll in trials. There was no difference in participation rates between the treatment and cancer control trials (55.0 vs 55.3%; P =.98). The rates of participation were similar for Black and White patients (58.4 vs 55.1%; P =.88). Treatment choice or lack of interest were the main reasons for nonparticipation.

“These findings dramatically underscore the willingness of cancer patients to participate in a trial if one is offered. The findings also stand in stark contrast to the commonly cited statistic that only 5% of adult cancer patients participate in trials, a statistic which fails to reflect the many structural and clinical hurdles that stand in the way of trial participation for most patients,” the authors write.


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Several authors disclosed ties to the biopharmaceutical industry.

References

Unger JM, Hershman DL, Till C, et al. “When offered to participate:” A systematic review and meta-analysis of patient agreement to participate in cancer clinical trials. J Natl Canc Inst. doi:10.1093/jnci/djaa155

Brundage MD. Revisiting barriers to clinical trials accrual. J Natl Canc Inst. doi:10.1093/jnci/djaa156